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Mental Health

Conversation with Meredith Lloyd, president of If You’re Reading This at SMU

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

One of the newest organizations on the campus of SMU, If You’re Reading This, has been established and is committed to fighting mental health stigmas. If You’re Reading This was first created at the University of Virginia in 2016, and since then has been established on twelve college campuses across the country. The purpose of If You’re Reading This is to offer a safe space for students to share personal letters detailing their struggles with mental health, allowing those who read them to realize they are not alone. Meredith Lloyd, the founder and current President of If You’re Reading This at SMU, explains why she started the organization and what she hopes it achieves in the future. 

Lloyd, a current senior studying Marketing and Journalism, first discovered If You’re Reading This when one of her friends submitted a letter at Georgia Tech, where she expressed her struggles dealing with anxiety. Lloyd soon became interested in how she could implement If You’re Reading This on SMU’s campus, in hopes of encouraging people to talk about mental health. Lloyd saw “a need to create more conversations surrounding mental health” at SMU and wanted to provide a safe space for students to talk to each other about their struggles. Working with Sydney Castle, a current junior and vice-president of If You’re Reading This, Lloyd established the twelfth chapter of the mental health organization at SMU. To date, five SMU students have written letters for If You’re Reading This, each detailing their own mental health struggles, including abuse, eating disorders, PTSD, and anxiety. 

So far, the response from the SMU community has been “incredibly positive” and supportive. Lloyd reflects back to a couple of weeks ago when a peer reached out and applauded her for starting “a multitude of conversations” about mental health on campus. “Everybody goes through these struggles and it’s seen as shameful to talk about and then you feel like you’re suffering in silence” Lloyd explained. She hopes that If You’re Reading This continues to break stigmas and help students talk about their mental health struggles with one another. 

Looking into the future, Lloyd has two main goals for If You’re Reading This. She hopes to make SMU more open and inclusive through the conversations facilitated by the letters. Lloyd hopes that any student can log onto the If You’re Reading This website and “see a letter written by somebody who is similar to them in some capacity, whether they are struggling with the same thing or have a similar identity or personality.” Although she is graduating in May, Lloyd believes she has set the foundation for If You’re Reading This and is looking forward to seeing the impact the organization continues to make at SMU.

Junior at SMU majoring in English and minoring in Communications
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